Metro Art enhances the customer experience with innovative, award-winning visual and performing arts programming that encourages ridership and connects people, sites and neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County. A diverse range of site-specific artworks are integrated into the growing Metro system, improving the visual quality of transit environments and creating a sense of place. From photography installations to onboard posters, art tours and live performances, our multi-faceted arts programs add vibrancy and engage communities throughout Los Angeles.
Go Metro to experience art and cultural programs.
Premiering Saturday, Feb. 27, at 10:30 a.m. on Metro Art and Union Station Facebook and YouTube channels, the program will feature the popular handmade marionettes who have entertained generations of Angelenos as they visit the historic station as the gateway and launching point to their puppet journies around the region. READ MORE-->
Creative expressions of connection and care are at the heart of Silver Linings , a new series by six local artists that will debut on Metro buses from December 2020-July 2021. Artists include Stephanie Mercado, Laura Vazquez Rodriguez, Phung Huynh, Chris Johanson, Alfonso Aceves and Kassia Rico. READ MORE-->
, a new exhibition now on display in the Union Station Passageway Art Gallery, features the otherworldly black and white photography of artist Ken Karagozian.
The exhibition is also viewable in an
along with expanded materials in an original publication produced by Metro.
READ MORE -->
The Metro Board of Directors recently recognized and affirmed the importance of Metro Art’s ongoing efforts to enrich the transit experience for customers with art and cultural programming through unanimous passage of two motions entitled Uplifting the Human Spirit Through Metro Art . The motions call on Metro to champion artistic experimentation and contribute towards reimagining transportation in a way that is responsive to the issues and concerns of our time. Stay tuned for developments in the months ahead.
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A diverse range of site-specific artworks are integrated into the growing Metro system, improving the quality of transit environments and creating a sense of place.
Major projects that are currently underway are noted below:
Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project
The Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project will extend from the existing Metro C Line (Green) and will travel just over eight miles to the Metro E Line (Expo) and will serve the cities of Los Angeles, Inglewood and El Segundo; and portions of unincorporated Los Angeles County. Fourteen artists were commissioned to create permanent, public artworks at the eight stations: Ingrid Calame, Eileen Cowin, Kenturah Davis, Dean Erdmann, Sherin Guirguis, Carlson Hatton, Mara Lonner, Rebeca Méndez, Geoff McFetridge, Erwin Redl, Kim Schoenstadt, Jaime Scholnick, Shinique Smith and Mickalene Thomas. A forthcoming publication celebrating artists, poets and cultural producers of the Crenshaw/LAX project area is also in development. Read more about the art program for the Metro Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project --->
Metro Center Project
Metro is designing and building the new Metro Center Project , a facility on Metro-owned property in the DTLA Arts District. Artist Jacob Hashimoto was selected to develop a site-specific, integrated artwork for the public-facing exterior of this facility. Read more about the artwork for the Metro Center Project -->
Regional Connector Transit Project
The Metro Regional Connector Transit Project extends from the Metro L Line (Gold) Little Tokyo/Arts District Station to the 7th Street/Metro Center Station in downtown Los Angeles, allowing passengers to bypass Union Station to transfer to the A, E, B and D Lines (Blue, Expo, Red and Purple). The nearly two mile alignment has three new stations associated with it, for which seven artists were commissioned to create permanent, public artworks: Andrea Bowers, Audrey Chan, Mark Steven Greenfield, Pearl Hsiung, Clare Rojas, Mungo Thomson, and Clarence Williams. Read more about the art program for Metro Regional Connector Transit Project-->
Purple Line Extension Transit Project
Metro's Purple Line Extension is a three-part rail project that will begin at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue, extending westward for about 9 miles with seven new stations. The first section will extend to the intersection of Wilshire and La Cienega Boulevards and incorporate artworks into three new stations: Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax, and Wilshire/La Cienega. The commissioned artists for Section 1 are Mariana Castillo Deball, Ken Gonzalez-Day, Todd Gray, Karl Haendel, Soo Kim, Eamon Ore-Giron, Fran Siegel, Susan Silton, and Mark Dean Veca. Read more about the art program for the Metro Purple Line Extension Transit Project-->
Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station Improvement Project
Metro commissioned two artworks for the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station Improvement Project as part of a range of improvements to the fourth busiest station. New amenities include a customer center and a mobility hub to serve the Metro A Line (Blue) and C Line (Green), as well as Metro buses. Artist George Evans metal, multi-panel, photo montage Gifts of Freedom and Knowledge is now viewable in the Rosa Parks Customer Center. Slated for installation in 2021 is a series of sculptural parasols titled Second Line by artists Jamex and Einar de la Torre for the plaza leading to the Rosa Parks Customer Center.
Airport Metro Connector
Metro's Airport Metro Connector (AMC) is a major new multimodal transit hub that will provide a gateway connection between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Metro’s regional transit system. The AMC will connect to the new Crenshaw/LAX Line (currently under construction) near Aviation Blvd/96th Street and is being designed in sync with an Automated People Mover (APM) to be built and operated by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). Commissioned artist Glenn Kaino will be working in design collaboration with the esteemed architecture team of Grimshaw / Gruen Associates. Read more about the art work for the Airport Metro Connector --->
Patsaouras Plaza Busway Project
Patsaouras Plaza Busway
Station is on the south side of Patsaouras Plaza at Union Station and serves the Metro J Line (Silver) and other transit buses operating on the El Monte Busway Line. Commissioned artist
a new artwork that is a system of integrated metal panels along the pedestrian bridge leading to the new station.
Read more about the
art work for the Patsaouras Plaza Busway Project
Explore Metro Art, Explore LA!
Out of an abundance of caution, and in alignment with Safer-At-Home orders, Metro Art temporarily ceased all public events and tours in March 2020 and transitioned some events to online formats. To receive the latest information and updates about Metro Art’s projects and programming during the COVID-19 pandemic, please sign up for our Metro Art email list. Visual artworks in public settings—including at stations and other transit facilities as well as on posters and digital screens—remain on view to transit customers traveling for essential reasons.
Attend a free art tour
Metro Art Moves is our ongoing free, award-winning series of regularly scheduled and special tours of artwork in the Metro Rail system. Tours are led by trained Metro Art Docent Council volunteers and provide insights into the artworks, artists and art-making processes. Special tours heighten the passenger experience in novel and engaging ways through the perspective, experience and knowledge of artists and cultural experts.
The below information remains for scheduling reference when in-person, public tours resume. Information on virtual tours will also be posted here when available.
* Reservations are not required but appreciated as it will help the Docents know what numbers to anticipate.
- Metro Art tours take about 2 hours and are approximately 90% walking; there are elevators and escalators in all of the stations.
- The Docents distribute TAP cards that are pre-loaded with an all-day pass allowing tour participants to ride the Metro Rail & Bus system for free (except for the Union Station Art + Architecture tours). Attendees may keep the TAP cards and reload them for future use.
- Docents use voice amplifiers and wear bright orange safety vests for easy identification.
- There are no public restrooms available in the stations but there are restrooms available to the public at Union Station and the Hollywood/Highland shopping complex as well as various businesses along the routes.
- Groups of 10+ people can make special reservations with a minimum of three weeks advance notice. Make a group reservation online here
"I went on a tour of Union Station during the 75th Anniversary celebration and immediately asked how I could do this! I had a great tour guide, and the tour felt like a mix of a bunch of things I loved - public transit, art, LA history. It's really helped me to learn more about those subjects over time and I have a new appreciation for public art in particular." -- Metro Art Docent
Become a Docent at Metro Art
The Metro Art Docent Council is a dedicated group of volunteers committed to increasing awareness of the broad range of public art in the Metro Rail system through tours that provide insights into the communities they enhance, the art, the artists and their processes.
"I chose to be a docent because I love art and I love subways. I think what I love most about it is the chance to explore the city via the trains. As a docent, I've explored so many parts of the city that I would have never seen if I had not been one." -- Metro Art Docent
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer Metro Art Docent, we invite you to review the following information:
Should you have any questions, please contact:
Senior Community Relations Officer
Founder Metro Art Docent Council
Metro Art enhances the customer experience with innovative arts and cultural programming that encourages ridership and connects people, sites and neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County. Music, dance, poetry, film and meet-the-artist events at historic Union Station raise its profile as a cultural destination and create incentives to “Go Metro”.
Out of an abundance of caution, and in alignment with Safer-At-Home orders, Metro Art ceased all public events and tours in March 2020 and moved some events to online formats. To receive the latest information and updates about Metro Art’s projects and programming during the COVID-19 pandemic, please sign up for our Metro Art email list.
Visual artworks in public settings—including at stations and other transit facilities as well as on posters and digital screens—remain on view to transit customers traveling for essential reasons.
Please see below for links to an archive of events and happenings via The Source.
Metro Art is one of the largest public art agencies in the country. We provide essential information about our program through art guides and publications, ensuring riders can learn about the vibrant artworks they encounter during their journeys across Los Angeles County.
All publications are available to the public in digital and print versions (while supplies last). If you would like to receive printed materials, please call 213.922.4ART.
Deep Connections features the otherworldly black and white images of artist Ken Karagozian. His work, shot in medium format, shares a unique view on Los Angeles few have seen through the documentation of Metro subway construction over the last three decades. The exhibition, with twelve images on view in the Passageway Art Gallery from September 2020 into 2021, is documented in this book alongside first person recollections and expanded materials from Karagozian's photographic archive .
featured large-scale queries, alternating between English and Spanish, created by artist Barbara Kruger. This project brings Kruger’s provocations/interrogations, which are indeterminate and open to subjective interpretation, into physical proximity with the public in the Passageway Art Gallery from February-September 2020.
at Union Station was co-presented by Metro Art and Frieze Los Angeles.
The Makers: Portraits of Metro Artists Whose Work Enriches the Rider’s Journey was an exhibition in the Passageway Art Gallery on display August 2016-June 2017. The Makers is an ongoing series by artist Todd Gray featuring photographic portraits of the artists behind the artworks in the Metro system. This booklet offers the opportunity to see and learn more about 30 of these artists spanning multiple generations and backgrounds.
Metro Art’s award-winning poster series commissions local artists to create original artworks that offer their personal perspectives on neighborhoods and places throughout Los Angeles County. Initiated in 2002, over 40 artworks have been featured on posters displayed in Metro buses and trains. This 186-page catalogue features the first 15 years of the series, with images and statements by each artist. This shorter booklet provides a summary of the program.
Forward Motion was a photographic exhibition displayed on the walls of Union Station’s Passageway Art Gallery in 2019. Artist Michelle Asselin created luminous portraits of women who are part of Metro’s Women and Girls Governing Council, which is tasked with achieving a gender-balanced workforce, career advancement for women, and improving safety and mobility for women riders. An accompanying booklet presents each stunning portrait and statements by the featured women.
Orange Line (N. Hollywood to Canoga Park)
Gold Line (DTLA to East LA)
Metro Art Newsletter
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Artist and Musician Resources for COVID-19
Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture has compiled an ongoing list of COVID-19 resources that may be of assistance to visual and performing artists during COVID-19. Concurrently, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs is offering an updated wide-ranging directory of arts resources including education for kids and teens, virtual art experiences, agency resources and more. Metro Art also includes a regularly updated list of resources for artist and musician support in our email newsletter.
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